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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spencer's Mountain (released in 1963) - starring Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara - the story of a rustic patriarch

This heart warming tale was directed by Delmer Daves, in 1965 based on the book by Earl Hamner Jr. This the tale of the fight of the human spirit to triumph against all odds. The film stars, Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara and James Macarthur. The high light of the movie is the panoramic view of the mountain's which are breathtakingly beautiful. This novel and the movie has been the basis for the Television drama The Walton's.
As the tale goes, grandpa Zebulon, the father of Clay Spencer makes his home among the beautiful mountains of Wyoming. Here he has nine children of whom only Spencer continues his legacy. Clay Spencer is a hard working quarry man who occasionally indulges in a drink. He is a decent man and does not believe in the cliché of organized religion and therefore never goes to church. But he takes up back breaking labor to put bread on the family table. His wife is the rock of the family and has raised nine children.

Spencer's dream and promise was to build a beautiful mountain home for his wife. His son Clayboy is an amazingly gifted and talented boy who dreams of going to college. Clay boy is the only Spencer with any scholastic achievements to his credit. Clay knows that college will open new vista's for the boy and he will escape the poverty and labor which the Spencer's are doomed to.
Clayboy is admired by Claris Coleman, the rich daughter of the quarry manager and her frank admissions embarrass Clayboy. But he is enamored with her and returns her kiss. This arouses jealousy in Minnie Cora Cook a valley girl who ultimately marries the richest man around. Clayboy is rejected by the college because of his lack of proficiency in Latin. The family is shocked and an angry Clay confronts the college. The school agrees to admit him if he passes in Latin. The preacher Goodson agrees to tutor Clayboy if Clay Spencer would come to church and turn to religion.
Tragedy strikes the Spencer's when Granpa is killed by a falling tree. But in his will he leaves a legacy of thirty eight dolors and exhorts Clayboy to aim high. This spurs him to study hard and he passes his Latin with flying colors. Clay tries to borrow money from a rich man, but Minnie Cora who is married to the rich man out of spite blocks the loan. Clay decides to forget his dream and relinquishes his land on beautiful Spencer Mountain. He has no choice to burn it down. His wife stands behind him and says that she is contended with what ever they have
So a united family send Clayboy to college. Super feel good movie which will uplift your soul when you are down. Just grab you tissues and soak the triumph of the hardworking, gracious and decent people of the mountains.

Spencers Mountain (released in 1963) - starring Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara - the story of a rustic patriarch

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